LETTER: New rural system discourages recycling

Reader Kevin LePape says if recycling is too inconvenient, people won't recycle.

Re: Abandoned blue bags clutter RDCK transfer station

“The regional district’s Mike Morrison says the abandonment of blue bags at the recycle bins will taper off once the public understands the new system.”

Seriously? Well I apparently have a much higher opinion of the public’s intelligence than Mr. Morrison. I and everyone I’ve talked to about this fully understand the new system. But we are simply not going to stand there for 10 to 15 minutes shoving little bits one at a time or in handfuls through the hole. Period. And as evidenced in the photos and my recent visit you can’t put anything through the hole when all the bins are overflowing.

The best laughter was when I called and spoke to Mr. Morrison about what he thought I should do with my bag of shredded documents. His response was to empty the bag into additional blue bags so that the bags were small enough to fit through the hole. So instead of the one blue bag there would now be maybe six! And me with confetti all over the house. Right, more unrealistic and useless orders from on high.

As has been pointed out in the comments to the article and known for years, if you make the process too difficult then people just won’t recycle.

The claim that the system works well in the other areas of the RDCK where it has been previously implemented is missing a key fact that I suspect makes that claim dishonest: what happened to the total volume of recycling after implementation?

I asked this question of our chair of the resource recovery committee and he didn’t know the answer, never thought to ask staff. Claiming that the system is working when it’s probably responsible for increasing the amount of recyclable material going to the landfill doesn’t seem like success to me.

Kevin LePape, Rural Nelson